TCU Opens MWC Tourney Wednesday vs. Wyoming

TCU will look to avenge a Feb. 12 loss at Wyoming in the teams' last meeting.

TCU will look to avenge a Feb. 12 loss at Wyoming in the teams' last meeting.

March 7, 2011

2011 CONOCO MOUNTAIN WEST CONFERENCE CHAMPIONSHIP
First Round - Game #32
#9 TCU (10-21; 1-15 MWC) vs. #8 WYOMING (10-20; 3-13 MWC)

TCU GAME NOTES | MWC TOURNEY BRACKET | LISTEN LIVE | GAMETRACKER

GAME DAY INFORMATION
Wednesday, March 9, 2011 | 2:05 p.m. PT | Las Vegas, Nev. | Thomas & Mack Center (18,500)
Series Record: TCU leads, 9-8 | Last Meeting: Feb. 12, 2011 in Laramie (L, 67-77)
Television: The Mtn. (DirecTV ch. 616) | Talent: James Bates (pxp), Joe Cravens (analyst)
Radio: 1460 AM (KCLE), 88.7 FM (KTCU) | Talent: Brian Estridge (pxp), John Denton (analyst)
Internet: GoFrogs.com (radio, GameTracker)
TCU Head Coach: Jim Christian (Rhode Island, `88)    
      Record at TCU: 37-57 (.394) in 3rd season | Overall: 175-115 (.603) in 9th season
Wyoming Interim Head Coach: Fred Langley (Fresno State, `87)     
      Record at Wyoming: 2-5 (.286) in 1st season | Overall: 2-5 (.286) in 1st season


LAS VEGAS, Nev.--Postseason play begins for TCU on Wednesday in Las Vegas, Nev., as the ninth-seeded Horned Frogs open the 2011 Conoco Mountain West Conference Championship with a first-round matchup against No. 8 seed Wyoming. The contest, which is set to tip off at 2:05 p.m. PT at the Thomas & Mack Center, will be televised live by The MountainWest Sports Network (The Mtn.).

TCU, 10-21 overall, finished the MWC schedule with a 1-15 league mark. The squad has dropped 13 straight decisions entering the conference tournament, although it has played much better as of late, especially on the road. The squad's last four road losses have been by an average of only 6.0 ppg, including the last two by five points or fewer.

The Frogs will look for better results this season at the MWC tournament. The squad owns a 1-5 all-time mark in five previous appearances, including three consecutive opening-round losses.

Wyoming, which is 10-20 overall, earned the league's No. 8 seed with a 3-13 MWC record. Two of the squad's wins came in the final five games, including a 77-67 victory over TCU in the teams' latest meeting Feb. 12 in Laramie, Wyo.

TCU and Wyoming split their season series, with each team winning on its home court.  The Frogs, who defeated the Cowboys by a 78-60 count Jan. 12 in Fort Worth, own a slim 9-8 margin in the all-time series. The winner of Wednesday's game will advance to the quarterfinal round to face top-seeded BYU.

Wednesday's first-round matchup marks TCU's 20th televised matchup this season and its 17th on The Mtn. (DirecTV channel 616). Broadcast duties will be handled by James Bates (play-by-play) and Joe Cravens (analyst). The contest also will be broadcast live on the radio throughout the Metroplex on both 1460 AM KCLE and 88.7 FM KTCU. Brian Estridge (play-by-play) and John Denton (analyst) will serve as the on-air talent.  


A LOOK AT THE STARTERS*
TCU Projected  Starters
No. - Name - Pos. - Ht. - Wt. -  Yr. - PPG, RPG, APG        
  1 - Jarvis Ray - G - 6-6 - 195 - Fr. - 1.6, 1.5, 0.4
10 - Hank Thorns - G - 5-8 - 165 - Jr. - 10.4 - 3.4 - 7.0
12 - Nikola Cerina - F - 6-9 - 245 - So. - 5.4, 3.9, 0.9#
23 - J.R. Cadot - G - 6-5 - 205 - Jr. - 7.9, 5.8, 1.0#
33 - Garlon Green - F - 6-7 - 210 - So. - 11.2, 4.8, 1.0

Wyoming Projected  Starters
No. - Name - Pos. - Ht. - Wt. -  Yr. - PPG, RPG, APG        
  1 - JayDee Luster - G - 5-9 - 160 - Jr. - 5.9, 2.4, 3.4
  4 - Francisco Cruz - F - 6-3 - 217 - Jr. - 9.9, 3.1, 1.7
22 - Amath M'Baye - F - 6-9 - 210 - So. - 12.1, 5.7, 0.9^
23 - Djibril Thiam - C - 6-10 - 215 - Sr. - 9.7, 4.7, 1.4^
35 - Daylen Harrison - F - 6-6 - 217 - So. - 3.8, 2.3, 0.8

^-blocks per game;     #-steals per game;
*-players determined by starters from each team's previous game


FROG QUICK NOTES
- J.R. Cadot has scored in double figures in five of the last six contests and has led the team over the stretch with an average of 11.7 ppg.

- Nikola Cerina is averaging just short of a double-double over his last three games at 10.3 ppg and 9.3 rpg. He has pulled down at least nine boards each contest after entering the stretch with a career high of nine.

- Cerina averaged 7.7 ppg and 5.2 rpg in MWC play. He owned figures of 2.9 ppg and 2.6 rpg prior to the start of the conference season. Five of his six double-figure scoring efforts were in league play.

- Hank Thorns leads the MWC in assists (7.0 apg) and is No. 4 in the NCAA (March 3). He also owns respective ratings of No. 2 and No. 17 in assist/turnover ratio (2.69).

- As of March 3, Thorns was the only player ranked among the nation's top 10 in assists and top 23 in assist-turnover ratio.

- Thorns has nine 10-assist games, seven more than any other MWC player. The total ranks No. 3 among all players nationally, only one short of the co-leaders.

- Thorns needs seven assists to move into a tie for the No. 2 spot on the MWC's single-season list (217).

- Thorns already owns the MWC records for helpers by a non-senior for both a full season (210) and conference season (130).

- Thorns is currently No. 3 in TCU single-season history for both total assists and assist average (7.0 apg).

- Garlon Green is ranked No. 1 in the MWC in 3-point field-goal percentage (48.0%) and is tied for 10th in treys made (1.52 3pg).

- Amric Fields ranks No. 3 among all MWC freshmen in both scoring (7.2 ppg) and rebounding (3.0 rpg).

- TCU has utilized 15 different starting lineups this season, which would have ranked tied for second-most nationally as of Feb. 28.

- TCU is 10-2 when scoring 70 points or more this season and 0-19 when totaling fewer than 70.

- The Frogs are 0-16 when failing to shoot at least 45.0% from the field overall.


TCU ALL-TIME IN THE MWC TOURNEY
TCU owns a 1-5 record in the Mountain West Conference Championship during its five previous seasons as a league member. The squad will be playing in the 8/9 game for the third time and the first time since 2006-07.

- 2005-06 (No. 9 seed): TCU dropped a 64-60 decision to Colorado State in the 8/9 contest.

- 2006-07 (No. 8 seed): TCU earned its only win at the MWC tournament with a 62-54 victory over New Mexico in the 8/9 game. The Frogs suffered a 77-64 loss to No. 1 seed BYU in the quarterfinals.

- 2007-08 (No. 7 seed): TCU dropped a close quarterfinal decision to No. 2 seed UNLV, 89-88, despite setting the MWC tourney record for 3-pointers with 17. The Frogs went 17-of-23 for the game.

- 2008-09 (No. 7 seed): TCU was downed in the quarterfinals by No. 2 seed Utah, 61-58. The game was tied until the Utes' Lawrence Borha hit a 3-pointer with 0.8 seconds remaining.

- 2009-10 (No. 7 seed): TCU fell to second-seeded and 14th-ranked BYU, 95-85, in the quarterfinal round. The Frogs led by one point at halftime, but the Cougars scored 56 in the second half to pull away.


FROG INDIVIDUALS IN THE MWC TOURNEY
TCU returns only three individuals who have previous playing experience at the MWC tournament in senior Greg Hill and sophomores Nikola Cerina and Garlon Green. All three made their only showings during last season's 95-85 loss to BYU.

- Nikola Cerina: Scored 12 points while shooting 4-of-5 from both the field and the free-throw line.

- Garlon Green: Saw only six minutes of action playing as a true freshman.

- Greg Hill: Scored 15 points with three assists and a pair of steals in 27 minutes off the bench ... went 4-of-7 from the field, 3-of-5 from 3-point range and 4-of-4 at the charity stripe.


CHRISTIAN IN CONFERENCE TOURNEYS
TCU head coach Jim Christian has won two conference tournament championships in his nine seasons as a head coach.

- Christian led Kent State to titles in two of his final three seasons with the Golden Flashes (2006, 2008).

- Overall, Kent State went 12-4 in Christian's six appearances at the MAC tournament.  His overall career record currently stands at 12-6.


SCOUTING THE WYOMING COWBOYS
Wyoming, led by interim head coach Fred Langley, posted a 10-20 overall record this season while finishing eight in the Mountain West Conference with a 3-13 league mark. The Cowboys have dropped three straight contests entering the MWC tournament. The squad, which is 0-13 away from Laramie, Wyo., returned nine letterwinners and all five starters from last season's team that went 10-21 overall and finished eighth in the MWC standings with a 3-13 league mark.

As a team, Wyoming is averaging 66.1 ppg while allowing 69.7 ppg. The squad is third in the MWC in steals (7.50 spg) and fourth in both turnover margin (+1.10 tpg) and blocked shots (3.73 bpg).

Two Cowboys average scoring in double figures, including sophomore guard Desmar Jackson, who leads the team and is fifth in the MWC at 14.7 ppg, and sophomore forward Amath M'Baye (12.1 ppg). Jackson also ranks second in the league in steals (2.10 spg), while M'Baye paces the squad in rebounding at 5.7 rpg, which is No. 9 in the league. Junior guard JayDee Luster is the team's top assist man (3.4 apg).  


INSIDE THE SERIES
TCU owns a 9-8 advantage in the all-time series that began in 1971-72, including a 6-6 mark since the Frogs joined the MWC prior to the 2005-06 season. TCU has taken six of the last nine matchups. The two teams have met only twice in neutral settings, including a 72-61 Frog win in the opening round of the 1997 WAC Tournament in Las Vegas.

TCU vs. Wyoming - Last 10 Meetings
Date - W/L - Score - Site
Jan. 27, 2007 - L - 56-71 - Laramie
Feb. 28, 2007 - W - 77-58 - Fort Worth
Jan. 12, 2008 - W - 83-56 - Fort Worth
Feb. 13, 2008 - L - 54-72 - Laramie
Jan. 21, 2009 - W - 79-78 (OT) - Fort Worth
Feb. 21, 2009 - L - 56-61 - Laramie
Jan. 12, 2010 - W - 62-59 - Fort Worth
Feb. 13, 2010 - W - 76-68 - Laramie
Jan. 12, 2011 - W - 78-60 - Fort Worth
Feb. 12, 2011 - L - 67-77 - Laramie


 

 


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